Truth Versus Error
1 John 4:1-6
In John 8:42-45, the Bible deals with the same subject as 1 John 4:1-6. The Bible says, “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me...Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word...Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it..And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”
Every time God’s truth is sown, the devil comes to sow error. This is why it is essential that we keep our church what it ought to be. The preacher must not be bound by committees or intimidated by power groups. He must be able to stand boldly with compassion and declare, “Thus saith the Lord...”
We must remain a free people. God’s truth has made us free! It is the truth of God’s Word that reveals error.
The Lord Jesus indwells every believer in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Notice again that the Bible says in 1 John 4:1-4, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world... Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:...And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world...Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
In our Bible, we find over 40 names and identities given to Satan. There are also expressions given for the Holy Spirit. The expression, “the spirit of truth,” directly refers to the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
This is such a comforting thought.
“Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
It could be frightening to think of the satanic invasion of our world. Yet God’s Word declares, “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” When we repent of our sin and by faith trust Christ as Saviour, He comes to indwell us forever. I am so grateful to God that we have the indwelling Holy Spirit. We have in us the “spirit of truth.” Because of that, God gives us discernment to know what is error and what is truth.
God has made us conquerors in the Lord Jesus. His power has already proven to be victorious over death, hell, and the grave. Because God lives in us, He gives us victory over the devil through God’s Word and the power of the resurrected Christ. We have victory.
We not only have victory; we can know the truth. When we hear something that is not true, because we are so familiar with the truth, we recognize the error. John 14:1-6 says, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me...In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you...And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also...And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know...Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?...Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Truth is not in a philosophical system; truth is in the Person of Jesus Christ. Remember this: Jesus Christ is the full and final revelation of God to us. The Jesus of the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Christian Science is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Lord Jesus is the full and final revelation of God to us. He is the truth. The Lord Jesus is coexistent, co-equal, eternally existent with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
Of course, men have their philosophies and systems that are man-centred and not Christ-centred, but truth is not in some system of philosophy. It is in the Person of Jesus Christ. God’s Word clearly states in 2 Timothy 3:7, that, when you reject the Christ of the Bible, you will be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” We may admire the work ethic of someone striving diligently to accomplish academic achievement; but if the person rejects the Christ of the Bible, no matter how many degrees he may have, he will be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Let us thank God that the “spirit of truth” indwells every one of God’s children. We are not left without a guide. God guides us in the truth by His Spirit; He illumines us by His Spirit to know His Word. We can recognize error and follow our Saviour in the path of truth. This is a time to preach and teach the turn with compassion, authority, and clarity, because our world has been invaded by the spirit of error.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13).